The open-access journal, PLoS NTDs, celebrated its fifth anniversary. To commemorate this great achievement, the journal compiled editorials and research papers published over the last five years to create a collection, called “The Geopolitics of NTDs.”
The collection focuses on the geographic distribution of NTDs by region to highlight the key differences as well as similarities between the diseases in different areas around the world.
The Sabin PDP is currently engaged in collaboration for early research and development for a bivalent therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). It would be the first therapeutic vaccine for this disease. The vaccine is comprised of two Trypanosoma cruzi recombinant proteins formulated on alum. One of the antigens is a unique T. cruzi 24 kDa antigen (Tc24) and the other is a unique T. cruzi surface transialidase (TSA-1).
The Schistosomiasis Vaccine Initiative was launched in 2008 through funding from Mr. Morton Hyman and the Blavatnik Family Foundation. In collaboration with researchers at James Cook University and The George Washington University, a promising antigen, Sm-TSP-2, was selected for development.
Schistosomiasis is a parasite carried by snails and transmitted through contact with contaminated fresh water sources such as lakes, ponds, rivers and dams. Schistosomiasis infection is readily transmissible for those who come in frequent contact with contaminated water – particularly children who wade or play in water and women conducting domestic chores.
In collaboration with researchers at the James Cook University and The George Washington University, a promising new antigen, Sm-TSP-2 (Schistosoma mansoni Tetraspanin-2), was selected for development as a schistosomiasis vaccine. Then at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Sabin and its partners developed the process for manufacture of the vaccine under cGMP, and was followed by technology transfer to Sabin's manufacturing partner, Aeras.
Schistosomiasis afflicts over 250 million people around the globe and is the deadliest disease among the seven most prevalent NTDs, killing an estimated 280,000 people annually. Thanks to private donations from Mr. Morton Hyman, Dr. Gary Michelson, Texas Children’s Hospital and the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the Schistosomiasis Vaccine Initiative (SVI) utilizes and leverages the Sabin Vaccine Institute PDP’s existing programmatic and technical infrastructure to produce and evaluate a schistosomiasis vaccine.
The suffering caused by hookworm is not well known in the developed world but in many countries it is all too prevalent. More than 700 million people are infected with hookworm. The largest number of cases occur in impoverished areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, China and Latin America. Globally, approximately 3.2 billion people are at risk for hookworm infection.
Hookworm is an intestinal parasite most commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Hookworm, one of three members of a family of parasites known as the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), are half-inch long worms that attach themselves to the intestinal wall and feed on human blood. Left untreated, hookworm causes severe intestinal blood loss leading to iron-deficiency anemia and protein malnutrition, particularly in pregnant women and children.